We’ve made it to the end of the line, folks! Almost two months ago, 24 teams went into the bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, and now we’re down to the final two. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars will be facing off in the Stanley Cup Final, and this figures to be an interesting matchup—the Lightning were certainly a favorite to come out of the East, but the Stars pretty well limped into the playoffs, but they really turned it on in the first round, and they’ve been playing some really good hockey down the stretch. Both play pretty different styles, so it will be interesting to see who’s able to dictate the tone in this one. And who’s going to win it all? Well, our staff is here to weigh in.
Stanley Cup Final: Dallas Stars vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Maddie: I’d like to start this off by thanking the Lightning for knocking out the Islanders so I don’t have to watch the Islanders anymore. That’s a real treat. But anyway, I think I’ve been not taking the Stars seriously enough through most of the playoffs, I keep expecting them to not be able to get it done, and yet here we are, so credit to them for that. But, that said, this Lightning team seems to be the real deal, and they’ve just come out of a matchup where they had to find a way to break down a tighter defensive system, so I think they’re in a good position to be successful here. I think the Stars are going to give them some trouble, but I like Tampa here. Lightning in seven.
Heather: Gotta be Tampa. Lightning in six.
Drew: I know that the Dallas Stars have the momentum, having knocked off the top two teams in the Western Conference in the Avalanche and Golden Knights. However, like Maddie said, I can’t see past how good Tampa have been. The Islanders had been causing trouble in the East, and despite their best efforts, they couldn’t muster enough to push past this year’s “super team”. Plus, Tampa know that their current team build just won’t last. I’m confident they are giving everything in the tank and more. Tampa in six.
Kurt: I’ve picked against Dallas every round so far and it hasn’t worked out for me, and hey: if at first or second or third you don’t succeed, try again Lightning in five.
Craig: There’s no reason the Lightning should lose this series, but 2020 has been very 2020 so Stars in six.
Ryan: To Craig’s point, it’s 2020. Literally nothing makes sense in this cursed, listless year. Could the Stars beat the odds and take out Tampa? No doubt about it. But I’m just not ready to count bet against the Lightning. This feels like their year. Give me Tampa in five games. I think they run away with this thing — with or without Steven Stamkos.